Tony (centre) with Eamonn O'Neal (left) and His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester (right).
Tony found out about volunteering with St Ann’s after an announcement at his local church that a meeting was to be held in a local school about the hospice opening. This is where he met Rosemary Delamore, the Volunteer Coordinator who arranged for him to do the evening drinks round on the wards.
After retiring from work over ten years ago he added gardening duties to his role. We’re incredibly pleased he did, as he does a phenomenal job!
Tony works in our gardens three days a week, and also still works a regular shift on our wards. For the last few years we have been relying on him as our main gardener, and he has never let us down. His support and commitment is exceptional.
The positive feedback we receive from our patients and their visitors is a testament to the hard work that he has put in over the many years. The garden is a peaceful, beautiful place for people to sit – whatever the season – and we’re grateful for that fact, as are our patients.
Tony knows that people often go through difficult times when they’re at the hospice, and he’s always happy to talk to them when they’re in the garden, saying hello and putting them at ease.
He always makes sure there are flowers that patients can enjoy both outside, and in the wards, and he is keen to ensure that anyone coming to the hospice feels as comfortable and ‘at home’ as possible.
We receive lots of comments about how lovely our gardens look, and how the outside space of the hospice is just as important as the inside. This is true, and we’re enormously grateful for the work Tony, and our other volunteers, do.
Tony has also had personal connections to St Ann’s as he’s had many family and friends who have been patients including his mother who was admitted in 1989.
Tony received the Volunteer Special Recognition Award at our Celebration Event at Gorton Monastery last year. The award was to recognise and celebrate the outstanding contribution he has made to the St Ann’s. He’s dedicated a phenomenal amount of his time to helping us, and we simply can’t thank him enough.
Earlier this year we had a special visit from His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, as part of our celebrations for our Little Hulton hospice’s 40th birthday, and with the help of Tony he planted a special commemorative tree to mark the occasion.